Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
Baker Street used to be a bit of a gastro-wasteland, but the arrival of Galvin in 2005 has put it squarely on the culinary map of places to eat in London. Along with Racine (239 Brompton Road SW3; 020 7584 4477), this Gallic-inspired ‘bistro de luxe’ has become a standard-bearer for London’s bourgeois French restaurant revival, bringing supercharged brasserie fare to the capital. It’s a family affair, run by the Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff, who have over 40 years of cheffing experience between them, and have left some pretty high-profile kitchens to launch their own (Chris was head chef at the Wolseley, see page 100; Jeff cooked at L’Escargot in Soho). Even the black-and-white photographs on the wall are by their sister Sarah. The L-shaped dining room – all wood panelling and leather benches – makes a nostalgic nod to the old-school brasseries of France, without descending into pastiche. Unfortunately, the same can’t always be said of the French waiting staff. Still, if you want unpretentious food, served in an equally unpretentious setting, Galvin hits all the right notes. For a room with a view, there is now Galvin at Windows, at the top of the Hilton (22 Park Lane, W1; 020 7208 4021).